RUSIA, Radar Ampera – Russia has withdrawn its ambassador in Washington for consultations amid efforts to prevent relations they describe as experiencing “irrevocable damage” to the United States.
The Russian government said Ambassador Anatoly Antonov had withdrawn back to Moscow because relations with the US had reached a “stalemate.”
The move was taken after President Joe Biden said the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, would “pay dearly” for allegations of meddling in the election.
In an interview with ABC News, Biden confirmed that he thought the Russian president was “a murderer”
Biden was responding to an American intelligence report stating that Putin had authorized efforts to influence the U.S. Presidential campaign, late last November.
The report accused Russia of trying to influence the election in support of incumbent candidate Donald Trump, who was defeated by Democrat Joe Biden.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the allegations were not based on evidence and would worsen bilateral relations.
The United States is believed to be imposing sanctions on Russia no later than next week at the conclusion of the report.
What did the Russians say?
“The Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, has been summoned to Moscow for consultations to analyze what needs to be done in the context of relations with the United States,” the Russian foreign minister said in a statement.
Russia, it said in the statement, was interested in “preventing irrevocable damage to relations.”
“The most important thing for us is to identify ways to improve Russia-U.S. relations, which have been through difficult times because Washington has, in fact, brought this relationship to a stalemate,” he said.
What does the United States say?
Biden told ABC he had warned President Vladimir Putin in response to allegations of election meddling.
“He’s going to pay dearly,” Biden said in a broadcast that aired Thursday.
Asked about the consequences, Biden said: “You’ll see it soon.”
When asked if he thought President Putin was “a murderer,” President Biden said “Yes.”
In a recent statement to the media, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Russia-U.S. relations are different than during the Trump administration.
“Of course, The Russians will be held accountable for what they have done,” Psaki told journalists.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly authorized efforts to influence last year’s U.S. Presidential Election to support the incumbent candidate at the time, Donald Trump, intelligence officials said.
Moscow also allegedly spread “misleading or unfounded allegations” against the winner of the U.S. Presidential Election, namely Joe Biden, according to the U.S. government report.
But the report also states that the final results of last year’s U.S. Presidential Election were free from foreign government interference.
Russia has repeatedly denied allegations of interference in the U.S. Presidential Election.
Launched by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Tuesday local time, the 15-page report outlines a Russian-backed and Iranian-backed “influence-spreading operation.”
According to the documents, a number of individuals linked to Russia have spread unsubstantiated claims about President Biden ahead of the November 3 election. It also said the disinformation campaign sought to undermine confidence in the electoral process.
Some of the parties linked to Russian intelligence also pushed anti-Biden narratives into the mass media, senior officials and Trump allies, the report said.
Biden finally defeated Trump and was sworn in as President on January 20, 2021.
The report also added that, as Russia seeks to bolster Trump’s chances of winning, Iran is instead waging a “covert campaign of influence” in an effort to weaken support for him.
The former US president is known to be seeking “maximum pressure” on Iran, by imposing a number of burdensome sanctions and heating up a verbal war between the two countries.
The report also concluded “high confidence” that China, which Washington has long accused of espionage, chose not to “exert meddling efforts” ahead of the U.S. Election.
“China seeks stability in its relations with the U.S. and does not see any outcome of its Elections as favorable enough for China to bear the risk if it is caught.”
The report also ensures that the voting process and the final results of the U.S. Election are free from interference from foreign countries.
The U.S. intelligence documents were released in conjunction with a joint investigation by the Justice Department and department of Homeland Security that yielded similar conclusions.
The investigation report stated that “Russian and Iranian campaigns targeting key infrastructure sectors did jeopardize the security of several networks that manage some election functions”.
But the alleged intervention efforts were largely launched indirectly.
“We have no indication that foreign actors attempted to intervene… by manipulating the technical aspects of the voting process, including voter registration, polling, vote tabulation, and reporting of the results,” the investigation document said.
The U.S. intelligence community in August last year stated that China, Russia and Iran were actively attempting to meddle ahead of the November 2020 presidential election.
The assessment stated that Russia was trying to “demean” Biden. On the contrary, it was also signaled that China and Iran at the time wanted Trump to lose the Election. (*)